India accounts for 10 pc of SriLankan passenger traffic: Ashok Pathirage

Interview with Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines
2024-06-12
/
/ New Delhi
India accounts for 10 pc of SriLankan passenger traffic: Ashok Pathirage

The Indian routes are anticipated to perform even better once the frequencies and connections receive a boost with the arrival of replacement aircraft

With over 100 flights per week to India from Sri Lanka, Indian passengers account for 10 pc of total passenger traffic on board its aircraft, Ashok Pathirage, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines, tells India Outbound. Pathirage adds that with addition of new aircraft, he hopes to increase the share of Indian market even further.
Rate this post

How was 2023 for SriLankan Airlines, especially your Indian market?

The year was primarily a year of rebound for SriLankan Airlines as overall passenger volumes recovered up to 65 pc and Indian passenger volumes recovered up to 55 pc of pre-pandemic levels. Having said that, the airline’s operations and capacity have been restricted by the limited availability of aircraft in the fleet, namely due to a lack of engines.

When do you hope to cross the pre-pandemic connectivity with India?

We expect our Indian routes to bounce back further this year especially in light of the anticipated fleet additions that will increase our capacity to the former levels well before mid-2025. Before we get there, however, our aim is to consolidate the existing routes. New Indian destinations such as Ahmedabad are on the cards as well, when there are sufficient numbers in our fleet.

Which are your best performing routes in India?

Most are performing well, except for a few routes in Southern India. The Indian routes are anticipated to perform even better once the frequencies and connections receive a boost with the arrival of replacement aircraft.

What are your fleet expansion plans?

We are in the process of acquiring aircraft to support our commercial plans for the next two years. We plan to expand our fleet to consist between 35 to 40 aircraft by 2028.

India accounts for 10 pc of SriLankan passenger traffic

The connecting passenger traffic is about 40 pc of the overall traffic out of India

How much of Indian traffic is for onward journeys?

The numbers differ by route, but in general the connecting passenger traffic is about 40 pc of the overall traffic out of India, and the rest accounts for point-to-point traffic. As Sri Lanka’s popularity as a tourist destination continues to grow among Indian travellers, we expect the point-to-point traffic flow from India to Sri Lanka to grow further.

Are you getting any uplift from India for flights to Melbourne?

There is a considerable uplift from India to Melbourne, but we have seen a minor decline in recent times due to the post-Covid increase in direct flights as well as capacity between India and Australia by other airlines. SriLankan Airlines will be able to grow its numbers once connectivity is enhanced given the fact that Colombo has always been a preferred transit point for Indian passengers.

What is your target for the Indian market in 2024?

The Indian market’s contribution to our network is over 10 pc and our aim is to grow this by a few percentage points by the end of this year.

You may also like
SriLankan Airlines launches eco-friendly amenities in Business Class
SriLankan Cargo updates its service framework & website
SriLankan Cargo updates its service framework & website
SriLankan Cargo partners with CargoAi
SriLankan Cargo partners with CargoAi
SriLankan Airlines opens office in Thiruvananthapuram

Leave a Reply

Get Magazine